Medicine isn’t free mar­ket com­mod­ity

Austin American-Statesman Sunday - - VIEWPOINTS -

DON WAR­REN, GE­ORGE­TOWN

Re: Sept. 17 com­men­tary, “San­ders’ drug plan puts Texas pa­tients, com­pa­nies in peril.”

I read the com­men­tary by Rus­sell Withers. Typ­i­cal di­a­log of big pharma, a group of cor­po­ra­tions who seem to think they can pick prices out of the air. Oh yes, the free mar­ket will solve this. My ques­tion is how? The doc­tor writes a pre­scrip­tion, then you take it to the phar­macy and get it filled. Can you refuse it? Can you bar­gain for a bet­ter price? Un­likely! This is much like med­i­cal care. How can the free mar­ket solve this? It is not a free mar­ket com­mod­ity.

As con­sumers, we can some­what con­trol pric­ing in the free mar­ket by not buy­ing. So, the free mar­ket folks have de­cided that the free mar­ket will solve drug and med­i­cal care costs. I guess we could say, “Oh, I won’t buy that life­sav­ing drug.” Or refuse a hos­pi­tal visit be­cause it is too ex­pen­sive. Isn’t that the way the free mar­ket works?

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